The AEU has welcomed the Victorian government’s investment of more than $1.5 billion in support for students with disability in schools, announced at the end of last year. This investment will see an overhaul of the outdated way in which students with disability are allocated support, allowing many more students to access the specialist support they need.
Extra teachers will be employed to provide more classroom support for students with disability, and schools will gain extra resources for accessing and sharing specialist expertise, and additional professional development for teachers and education support staff.
The AEU supports the new funding model, focused on educational adjustments to meet student strengths and needs, after urging the Victorian government to allocate extra funding for students with disability in schools for more than a decade. The union will continue to work with the Andrews government to implement the reforms.
We will also maintain pressure at a federal level for additional funding to meet the needs of students with disability in our public schools. In the latest national State of our Schools survey, nine out of ten public school principals reported having to access funds from other areas of school budgets to make up for significant shortfalls in funding for students with disability.
According to the 12,000 respondents, a a lack of funding from the federal Morrison government means that almost two-thirds of public schools do not have the resources to meet those needs. In regional areas, more than half of teachers reported that student needs were not being met – a figure that rises to 68% in very remote areas.
This shortage of vital federal investment for students with disability follows drastic cuts by the Morrison government in 2018, when $31 million was slashed from funding for students with disability across five states and territories.